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Disadvantaged groups expect more in upcoming budget


By BSS
Published : 17 Apr 2022 10:34 PM | Updated : 18 Apr 2022 02:35 PM

Representatives of the disadvantaged population have shared their views and expectations on the upcoming national budget while wanting to know about what they would receive from it.

Citizen's Platform for SDGs Bangladesh organised the virtual dialogue titled- `Upcoming National Budget 2022-2023: Perspectives of the Disadvantaged Groups' held on  Sunday in view of the challenges faced by the disadvantaged communities at the grassroots level, said a press release.

The discussants stressed the need for protecting the low and lower-middle income groups from the spiralling prices of essentials.

They also highlighted that the loss caused by the pandemic in the areas of economic activities, education and health should be the priority of the upcoming national budget.

Citizen's Platform for SDGs Convenor and CPD Distinguished Fellow Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya said the general public should have the opportunity to respond prior to the actual budget if a draft of the budget or budget policy is shared.

He also said, "A targeted expansionary monetary policy is now needed to boost the economy. However, taking cognizance of the current revenue mobilization and public expenditure situation, the goal should be to provide direct financial assistance and food aid to the disadvantaged people in particular."

To this end, the preparation of an inclusive data set for the incentives provided is necessary to ensure accountability, added the noted economist.

Advocacy and Communications Director of  World Vision Bangladesh Technical Programme Tony Michael Gomes said, proper child budget analysis is needed as nine ministries are engaged in child protection, ensuring quality education, nutrition benefits.

He opined that at least 10 percent of the budget should be allocated for children in a separate line item at the union and upazila level.

Gomes stressed that children who are more at risk of dropping out of school should be provided more fiscal incentives in the next budget.  

Cordaid Country Representative Shakeb Nabi highlighted that the majority of the small and marginalised farmers are in the informal sector.

"They are deprived of their rights, and they need to be shifted towards the formal sector. While allocating budget, decentralised and community-based agriculture should be focused along with the entire value chain," he said.

Oxfam in Bangladesh Senior Programme Officer Md Mostofa Ali resonated with him saying the agriculture budget should be farmer-friendly and include the farmers.

Among others, the dialogue was also attended by Bangladesh Mahila Parishad Joint General Secretary Shima Moslem, Dhaka University Mass Communication and Journalism Faculty Prof Dr Robaet Ferdous, Joint Director of Dialogue and Outreach, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD)  Avra Bhattacharjee, international development partners and media representatives.  

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